Three simple steps to a successful exhibition experience

Last Modified: June 1, 2017 | Posted by: toast

Exhibition stands are a fantastic way to get noticed and promote your business to a captive and targeted audience. But, as shows also require a significant investment in time, money, energy, and resource, it’s vital to maximise your return on investment. And that means creating an exhibition presence that appeals to your target customers.

In our multi-sensory world, expectations are high, so just showing up isn’t going to cut it. Today, we’re living in the “experience economy”, which means that you have to put the individual at the heart of everything you do. So, to stand out from the crowd, your exhibition stand has to reach out and appeal to attendees in new and absorbing ways.

With 30 years’ experience in exhibitions, and a philosophy based on exceptional service, expertise, and innovative solutions, we’ve set out three simple steps to help make sure your next exhibition stand is a resounding success.

1. Be relevant

Before you do anything, make sure you understand why you’re attending a particular exhibition in the first place. Once upon a time, it might have been okay to exhibit just because your competitors were doing so; but today, diminishing budgets and the need to demonstrate ROI means you must take the time to figure out what success looks like to you.

Set out what you want to achieve at each and every exhibition, be that raising brand awareness, networking, showcasing a new product, or making sales.

“75% of visitors to an exhibition are there to buy or plan to buy in the future”[1].

Of course, as well as determining what you want to achieve, you also need to establish what visitors are likely to want from you. And, once armed with this information, work with your exhibition stand supplier to make sure your attendance helps you to do all this. (If you’re not sure what your objectives are, or what your customers want, Apex will work with you to figure this out).

2. Grab attention

Your stand should stop people in their tracks and grab their attention. No matter how good your products/services are, your exhibition presence won’t be a success if you don’t actually talk to anyone. So it pays to stand out from the crowd.

Make the most of your exhibition space by using colour, signage, and lights to deliver maximum visual impact, attract the eye, and draw attendees to you. Consider large graphic displays, ceiling hung graphics, movement that is triggered when someone walks past, and integrated technology to help provide that elusive ‘wow’ factor.

Of course, bespoke exhibition stands grab attention; like top fashion designs, they are unique and no one is going to turn up looking as good as you. But today, the best modular solutions are a long way from ‘off the peg’ designs that look like everyone else’s. Even better, many of these modular components can be used over and over again – often in many different configurations – reducing the overall cost of exhibiting.

3. Keep people talking

There is no point getting people to your exhibition stand if there’s no incentive for them to talk to you once there. So, no matter how good your stand looks, all your effort could go to waste if it’s not a catalyst for conversations.

As such, here’s where that initial strategy really starts to pay off.

You know who you are talking to, and what you are working to achieve. So, you now have to make sure that your stand not only looks fantastic, but that it also incentivises visitors to engage with your team.

Consider employing interactive and immersive technology (e.g. VR/AR), games, video, and seating areas to give people a reason to strike up conversations and experience the benefits of your product/services for themselves.

Food and drink and phone charging stations are also a great way to encourage more informal conversations – but make sure everything you do relates back to your original goals. Even if every single attendee pops past to enjoy some free food, this won’t help your business if that’s the only thing they take away from your stand.

“Exhibiting is the only medium which allows you to interact with potential customers, using all the five senses.”[2]

Today’s exhibition visitors are also looking for experiences that are experimental and/or uniquely memorable. And, 78% of event professionals believe that multi-sensory events deliver more memorable and creative experiences for attendees. So, look at using your exhibition stand to construct compelling, multi-sensory experiences that evoke genuine emotions.

Big or small, modular or custom-built, at Apex, our designs always take these three essential steps into consideration to ensure your stand sets you apart from your competitors, and kick-starts those all-important conversations. If you’d like to find out more about how we can make your exhibition stands a success in the experience economy, contact us today to find out more, or give us a call today on + 44 (0)1625 429370 to discuss your requirements in more depth.

[1] Marketing Donut

[2] Marketing Donut